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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

4oo        HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

comes when the child has sufficiently mastered the methods of
thought, inquiry and activity appropriate to various phases of
experience to be able to specialize upon distinct studies and arts
for technical and intellectual aims. At this stage there is a sense
of more remote ends : the pupil is able to raise problems for him-
self, and to seek solutions for them. As this part of the course
was never worked out adequately by Dewey there is no need to
enter into details of his tentative programmes of study.

So far, Professor Dewey's views on education have been
considered with reference only to the practical forms assumed
by them. But the underlying psychological presuppositions,
as expounded by him at the time the experiment was going on
and later, have a wider significance. These presuppositions,
as he has been careful to point out, are not peculiar to himself.
They are in essence the contemporary psychology, based on
the application of the evolutionary view to mind. All that.
he has done has been to bring this psychology into relation
to" educational practice.

'* The idea from which Dewey sets out in his discussion of
education is that mind is not a fixed entity but a process of
growth. According'to the older view, mind is the same through-
out, because fitted out with the same assortment of faculties
both in child and in adult. If any difference was made, it was
simply that some of these ready-made faculties, such as memory,
were supposed to come into play at an earlier time, while others,
like judgment and inference, made their appearance later. The p
only important difference recognized was that of quantity. ^Th'e
boy was assumed to be a little man, and his mind a little mind,
in everything but range the same as that of an adult. That view,
according to Dewey, can no longer be held. If we accept the
conception of evolution in reference to mind, we must think of
it as essentially in change, with the continuity of growth and yet
presenting different phases of capacity and interest at different
periods. The antagonism between the correlative systems of
education is no less deep. On the faculty view of mind, the
logically arranged principles and facts which are the subject-
matter of adult thought are the natural " studies " of the child.
Human knowledge is first subdivided into sections called
" subjects " : then each " subject" is broken up into parts,
and some one part assigned to a certain year of the school course.